GNH plans to buy 8 ships in 2010.
Dubai Gulf Navigation Holding (GNH), the sole maritime and shipping company listed on the Dubai Financial Market, is looking to expand its ship fleet in 2010. "We want to grow the company," said Per Wistoft, Chief Executive Officer of GNH on the sidelines of a media roundtable held in Dubai yesterday.
A Dubai-based company, GNH owns and operates ships in the crude oil and petrochemicals fields. With 12 ships already in operation, the company hopes to have 20 ships by the end of 2010, Wistoft said.
"It's going to be a year when ship prices stay relatively low, so it'll be an attractive time to buy new ships," he said. About a year and a half ago, a medium-sized tanker of 50,000 dead-weight tonnage would cost between $52 (Dh191 million) and $55 million, Wistoft explained. "You can now get the same ship for $32 million, so there's almost a 40 per cent price drop."
While there are companies currently cancelling ship orders, Wistoft said GNH is also not the only one looking for cheap ships. "Timing is everything," he said. "We have to buy the right ship from the right sailor and at the right time and that would be the biggest challenge.
According to a statement released by Wistoft and published on DFM yesterday, GNH is in the process of purchasing four new tankers.
Piracy will be an issue which needs to be addressed on a worldwide level, said Wistoft. He said the route primarily in danger of pirates is the area between the Red Sea and the Arabian Gulf. "Some pirates have even moved out as far as 800 kilometres in their little speed boats," he said.
"Most people get confused when they see a warship pick up a boat with 20 pirates on board very well armed with grenades and machine guns... And because of no proper legislation they will disarm them and let them go again. From my sense of justice at least, that's a problem."